kind of got some unfortunate bounces. The stats arent where youd like them. But the | Forum

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jcy123 Jan 5 '20
MONTREAL -- The Montreal Canadiens are riding high but their early season success will be put to the test against one of their toughest opponents to date. David Ross Jersey Large .Winners of five straight after dispatching the New York Islanders 3-2 on Wednesday night, Montreal (6-0-1) returns home to host a rested Tampa Bay Lightning squad on Thursday night at the Bell Centre.Defenseman Shea Weber scored the game-winner on a late third period power play to go with an assist, and now leads the Canadiens with nine points. Three of those have been goals and two of those tallies have stood as the decisive markers.Its a good team effort, he said of their early season success. Everybodys doing the right things consistently throughout the lineup, up and down.The Canadiens have now won six of their first seven games for the third straight season, a feat realized only three previous times in franchise history. But while the team is enjoying another remarkable start, the players know how quickly it can evaporate after last seasons epic collapse.Weve always known we had a good group in here, Canadiens winger Brendan Gallagher said after the game. Its just about learning from last year and understanding that whatever it is--last year it was nine games, I think were seven games in now--it doesnt mean anything unless you can finish it off.So for us, just continue to build, not get too far ahead of ourselves. Day after day, just go about our business, try and take care of what we can control.The Atlantic Division rivals occupy the top two spots in the division, with Montreal holding a three-point edge over Tampa (5-1-0). The two clubs also sit in the upper echelons in NHL scoring, with the Lightning averaging 3.83 goals-per-game through six games to the Canadiens 3.71 through seven.But while both teams can put the puck in the net, its taken some time for them to do so. The Habs and Lightning have each scored just three times in the first period, and for Tampa, all three of their first period goals came in Tuesdays rout of the Toronto Maple Leafs.It was something we talked about before was getting out to a good start, especially on the road, its always important, Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said following the game. It definitely set the tone for the game and put us up.After ceding the crease to Al Montoya for Wednesdays tilt, goaltender Carey Price will get the nod at home against Tampa. Hell face them for the first time since May 12, 2015, when the two teams squared off in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.Ben Bishop is expected to get the start for the Lightning after turning in one of his best efforts against Toronto. While he allowed three goals for a fourth start, he came up big when his team needed him as the Lightning were outshot 43-24.It was the best Ive felt for sure, Bishop told the Tampa Bay Times. Its been kind of a work in progress. The previous games we watched, I was doing everything right, staying with the process. And I kind of got some unfortunate bounces. The stats arent where youd like them. But the wins are there, and thats the important thing.Bishop is 10-3-3 lifetime against Montreal, with a 1.80 goals-against average and .932 save percentage in 17 games.